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Runner Set to Tackle Marine Corps Marathon With Team USO to Support Other Military Families

Saturday, August 04, 2012

By Christian Pelusi 

For many marathoners, entering the Marine Corps Marathon is a chance to challenge themselves with on a course that is not only noted for its difficulty but also for its scenic panoramas. For even more runners, the MCM is an opportunity to show their support to loved ones serving in the Marine Corps and to a branch of the military that has done so much for so many.

Sarah Bruce from Camp Lejeune, S.C., has a son and a boyfriend who are active-duty Marines and with that has come an intimate knowledge of what they strive for and accomplish on a daily basis. Their perspective helps her get through the tougher training sessions as she prepares for her first marathon.

“I just mentally remind myself that I don’t have a 60 lb. pack [on my back] and I’m not in Kevlar in Afghanistan,” she said via email. “I have so many friends in the Marines and friends deployed and I wanted to do something to give back to them since I’m too old to serve now!”

Her boyfriend is Staff Sgt. Sean Russell who specializes in imagery for the Marine Corps in Hawaii but was recently promoted to drill instructor back at Camp Lejeune. Her son, Taylor, is 19, and is in the infantry. In their absence, Sean and Taylor’s fellow Marines have been a big help to her.

“The Marines have been awesome with training tips on diet when you’re running and advice from marathons they have run and allowing me to train on base as well as offering me to run with them!” Sarah said.

For the MCM, Sarah decided to become a part of another team: Team USO. She picked Team USO for several reasons.

“I chose team USO because I did my research and they actually use the funds for the soldiers and Marines,” she said. “And I know how hard it can be to not have the money to call back home and I know personally that friends of mine have stood in line to get those [calling] cards to make those calls back home and it meant a lot to them. [Sean] who is stationed in Hawaii also was able to read a story to his daughter right before his last deployment and was extremely grateful to the USO for their assistance with that!”

Sarah’s commitment to raising the funds necessary to be a part of Team USO made it even more special so that she could help others enjoy the aforementioned programs Operation Phone Home and United Through Reading® Military Program.

“I do feel that it is extremely important because it gives little ones that face-to-face contact and voice recognition to remember their parent by while their gone and that to me is priceless,” Sarah said of the UTR program. “Some individuals deployed don’t even get to see their babies until they are over 6 months old so them being able to hear their parents voice and get to know it until they come home is extremely important.”

* * *

More Team USO News: Read about a couple whose young children are a “riding” force in their training for this year’s MCM. 

 Note: There are still a few spots left to join the Team USO team for this year’s MCM. Registration ends on Tuesday, August 7 at noon.Learn more, act fast and join today. 

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